Here is a rapid-fire quiz: which animal has eight legs that make you instantly run from it when you find it anywhere in your house? In case you guessed octopus, wow, you really need to find a new living situation! In case you thought of spiders, as we hope you did, bravo!
Now, you might think what is the big deal about spiders and their webs? Let us tell you; no one on this planet has ever been able to replicate spiderwebs for a century.
The strong and silky
Do you know what is the strongest and the most destructible material on this planet? You might be thinking of iron or steel! But the silk that spider produces to create a masterpiece web is actually stronger than anything else in the world! If you take a chunk of steel which is 1 foot wide and compare it with the gob of spider’s silk with equal width, the spider silk will actually be a whole lot stronger!
With a single spiderweb strand coming in at just 0.003 mm in width, the magic poop (that comes out of their butt) holds a world-changing potential. It’s been put forward as a hypothesis that a single pencil-width spider silk strand can bring a 747 airplane to a screeching halt – but that’s something no one would attempt!
Even spider glue has the potential to be even more interesting for society than their silk. While the spider silk durable as already discussed, the glue is not only incredibly strong but can be quickly wiped away with a minimal amount of effort. Dr. Stellwagen believes, had been we able to replicate the spider glue, it could be a game-changer for farmers who, for decades, have been looking for cleaner, animal and plant-friendly pesticides. The idea of spreading chemicals to get rid of flies is something nasty.
Make sure next time when you see intricately designed creations of spiders, you say, “thank you for this wonderful and mysterious gift to our world”.